Reasons Why People Start Smoking And How To Prevent It

Why Do People Smoke? How It Starts & How To Stop - DoctorOnCall

Tobacco and cigarettes have existed in our society for years. There are a lot of harmful substances inside a cigarette and many people know the fact but are still smoking anyway. There are many reasons why someone started this habit. Among other reasons includes being influenced by friends, media, as a way to escape from work and stressful life or environmental exposure such as living with smokers. Although smoking may give pleasure to the smoker but the effects are only temporary. Unbeknownst to them, they began to rely on cigarettes to feel calm and over time, cigarettes become a part of their life and they can eventually become addictive. Smoking habits are harmful to one's health and are found to be a catalyst for a person to try more dangerous substances such as drugs. Take this quiz to know if you have nicotine dependency!

Why Does Someone Start Smoking?


Parental Influence

  • Parents play an important role in nurturing their children from an early age. If they are smokers, this may be one of the strongest factors why children start smoking because they have seen their own parents doing it since young. In fact, frequently seeing someone smoking also causes those who naturally have high curiosity to try the cigarettes. Therefore it is not surprising that some children begin to smoke cigarettes as early as 10 years old!

Peer Influence

  • Adolescence is a critical phase of growing up where one begins to find identity and know the meaning of life before stepping into adulthood. At this time, teenagers tend to try something new such as having a partner, trying new fashion and something that is trending among them, including cigarettes. Adolescents are also among the most vulnerable group. They spend a lot of time with their friends at this phase of life. One of the reasons why teenagers start smoking is being in a group of smokers. Being a smoker means they are welcomed in the group and seen as a mature and stylish person. Some teens may try cigarettes for fear of losing a friend or following a group of friends for fear of being sidelined.


  • Some individuals smoke to escape from stress. The effects of nicotine in cigarettes give them temporary calmness and relief and it can cause dependence on cigarettes if used for a longer period. Stress problems due to work, study or problems in the household can lead to why a person starts smoking if the stress and emotions could not be handled properly. In fact, smoking worsens the situation because individuals who smoke will be irritable and sensitive during the nicotine withdrawal phase and because of this, they will immediately look for cigarettes as a solution and the cycle then repeats itself.

Ease of Access

  • How cigarette is conveniently available also plays an important role in triggering the habit. Cigarettes are one of the must-have items wherever you go. It can be said that almost all grocery stores, supermarkets and convenience stores sell them. Furthermore, the existence of a few smuggling of contraband cigarettes with cheaper prices has led to the government's efforts to tightly control the distribution of cigarettes in vain. There are even merchants selling cigarettes to those under 18! This is clearly wrong, but as long as it is not caught, nobody bats an eye. This situation also contributes to the increase in the number of smokers among minors. The introduction to the trend of electronic cigarette use worsens the situation.


Celebrities & Idols

  • Among the disadvantages of mass media and social media that are increasingly inseparable from life is its influence on one's life. The influence of celebrities and idols displayed in the media can spark and affect a person's interest, especially children and teenagers. In addition to the smoking scenes shown to give impact to the characters portrayed, some artists are also ambassadors for tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes or vape. Studies show that many teenagers and children are trying cigarettes and vape because they are influenced by their idol or celebrity who was promoting the product.

Advertising & Marketing

  • Back in the days, tobacco products were freely advertised on television where most of the audience are teenagers. It portrays that cigarette smoking is a form of a stylish, masculine, and relaxing lifestyle. Thankfully these kinds of advertisements are not shown anymore on television due to the law that regulates and prohibits the advertisement of tobacco and alcoholic products in the mass media. Due to this, the tobacco industry used a different approach such as making a caricature of a celebrity who becomes the ambassador on the box packaging. Other forms of tobacco products such as e-cigarette or vapes are also sold in a fancy box design so that it can attract minors to buy the products.

Measures to Prevent Individuals from Smoking

There are various ways to prevent someone from start smoking. Efforts from various parties should be made starting from an earlier stage with clear intentions.

Avoiding Cigarettes

  • This is the most crucial way to not smoke. It all starts with yourself. The most important thing to avoid getting caught with a cigarette is to stay away from it. Whatever the reason may be, say NO to cigarettes.

Practice a Healthy Lifestyle

  • A healthy lifestyle should be the way of living. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, you will also avoid things that are harmful to the health such as smoking. Eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly can give you a better quality of life. Remember, stay away from cigarettes.

Avoid being a passive smoker

  • According to the study, passive smokers actually have a higher risk of health threats than smokers if they are frequently exposed to cigarette smoke, especially those who live with smokers. Therefore, if you have family members or housemates who smoke, ask them to smoke outside of the house and avoid being close to them when they smoke.


  • Education on the dangers of smoking should not only be provided to children and adolescents but to the general population. Information on the dangers and disadvantages of smoking should be communicated to all walks of life in general. In addition, information on smoking cessation assistance such as counseling, smoking cessation clinics and the use of nicotine replacement therapy should also reach more people in order to help them to quit smoking. The more people quit smoking, the less the influence of cigarettes in society.


  • There are multiple smoking cessation campaigns launched by the government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These campaigns aim not only to raise awareness about smoking but also to encourage and help smokers to quit smoking. As a member of your own community, you are strongly encouraged to respond to the call of this campaign to make our community and country healthier, safer, and free from the dangers of smoking.

Smoking is not only something that is not beneficial, but smoking also affects the health of not only yourself but others as well. Therefore, no matter what is the situation, whether it is pressure or peer pressure, always keep in mind that smoking is wasting time, endangering your life and burning a hole in your wallet. Seek help from a doctor or an expert to quit smoking today!

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